Having A Stressful Day? Who Doesn’t Anymore?
Of course, we’ve been stressed out. But why? What triggers us? What does it do to our bodies? And how the hell do we deal with it.
What happen to our physical bodies when we get stressed out?
When we are stressed, our bodies get flooded with hormones (like cortisol) which is the hormone that produce the fight or flight response.
In the hunting and gathering days, we get stressed out in a few situations. Food shortage, water shortage, being hunted by predators, you know, when we are literally physically threatened.
But lifestyle today is different. We have the chance to get stressed out on a daily basis, a few times a day even. But then the fight or flight responses don’t really coincide with the situations we are stressed about.
So instead of helping us get away from the stressful situations, this ‘trigger’ actually led to other symptoms or physical manifestations like anxiety, nervousness, depression, migraines, headaches, and more.
Going to the source
So, what’s the source that cause us to get stressed out and want to kill everyone that crossed our path? (Maybe not that extreme, but close enough.)
It’s definitely is easy to blame the bosses, co-workers, spouses, partners, kids, etc. However, it’s a lot more complicated than that, isn’t it? It is too easy to overlook what we do everyday that is actually contributing to the stresses in our lives even if we don’t know it.
The healthiest way to go about finding the sources of our stresses aren’t that complicated, thankfully, so let’s have a look what you can do to figure this shit out.
Start A Stress Journal
(What!? Another journal?!) Yes, another journal. It’s that simple. But it’s just a start. It’s a part of the process. I would recommend you give it a try and see how it works out. Since we just can’t avoid or escape stressful situations, a better way out is to find a better and more efficient way to deal with it. So, what to keep note of in this “Stress Journal” of ours.
1.1) What happened?
(Write down the event that causes the stress for you.)
1.2) How does it make you feel both physically and emotionally.
(Be as detailed as you can be. How do you feel physically? Sweaty palms? Increased heart rates? Anxiety?)
1.3) What was your reaction or response to the situation?
(What did you do? How did you react to it? Did you say or do anything you wouldn’t do in a normal situation?)
1.4) How can you improve how you manage stress?
(How could you better deal with the situation? What would you have done differently? How do you think that will help should the situation arise again?)
Go For A Walk
It has been proven scientifically that walking helps us clear our heads and helps boost endorphins production which, in turn, helps reduce the stress hormones. Walking can put you into a meditative state which helps you think things through more clearly.
The best place, if you can help it, is a park with plenty of trees and grass and green. And it doesn’t take that long, just a mere 5 minutes would put you in a totally different mindset. You’re now ready to deal with the world again (without wanting a bottle of whiskey or wanting to kill someone).
Sleep Enough, But Don’t Try To Sleep The World Away
Everyone needs enough sleep to be able to function properly. Some people is good to go with 5–6 hours of sleep. Some people (like me), need a couple of more hours. I found out that I tend to function better if I have 7–8 hours of sleep every night. Consistent sleeping routine will keep the body in balanced state.
I can sleep 5–6 hours and go through the day without a problem. But I tend to not be able to perform my assigned tasks as efficiently as I can if I have better night’s sleep. (Or maybe I’m just not as young as I was. But I’m not about to admit that. Just saying.)
Scientists discovered that meditation helps increase the amount of grey matter in the brain and it also helps the body to better cope with stress. Meditation helps relax the mind and body. It boosts oxygen intake which can help reduce the tension in the muscles and relieve stress.
There are so many techniques and websites that will offer guided meditation for free if you’ve never done it before and don’t know where to start. You can find some resources right here.
Down Time Matters
Take breaks, get away from the screen, get away from your computer, leave your phone in the bag at the desk. It won’t kill you to get away from the devices in your life and give yourself a valuable moment to compose.
It is said that you should unplug for at least 1 hour before bed would help your body to wind down for bed properly.
Music Can Heal Your Mood
Classical music has been proven to have a soothing effect to our brains. It helps reduce the heart rate, lower blood pressure and decreases levels of stress hormones.
However, any of your favorite music will help flood your brain with dopamine just as well. I am not an expert or even an avid listener for classical music so I can’t really recommend the artists or songs for you (I recognize them when I hear them that I like this or that number, that’s about it.)
But it is so easy to just do a search for relaxing piano music, or relaxing classical music on Google or YouTube and you’ll find a great list of things you can choose from. Or check out Spotify playlists.
There’s actually a study stating that chewing gum helps relieve anxiety and reduce stress during episodes of multitasking.
Essential Oil To The Rescue
It also helps to smell some calming essential oils. Here’s the list of essential oils that can induce relaxation: basil, anise, chamomile, lavender, geranium, mandarin, ylang ylang, neroli, jasmine to start you off. Essential oils don’t have to be used with a burner as most might understood, you can use it as a mixture in a bath as well. My personal preference are usually lavender or peach, but that’s just me. What’s your choice of essential oil? Please share your favorite or combination that you have used and worked for you with everyone in the comments.
Arts And Crafts
It is proven that repetitive motions are soothing and relaxing to the mind and body whether it is knitting, making jewelry, cross-stitching, drawing, painting, or making collages. The repetition of a sound or a movement will help you put aside other stressful thoughts and focus on the tasks at hand.
Do you stress out a lot? What do you think are the sources? How do you usually deal with it? Please share your experience and how you dealt with it in the comment below so others can benefit as well.